November 7, 2019

LOOK ON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR: The Berlin Wall Fell 30 Years Ago. Where Did It Go?

The wall spanned 96 miles, encircling West Berlin. It stood for nearly three decades until November 9, 1989, when East Germany suddenly opened its borders and crowds began tearing it down.

In the 30 years since, chunks of the wall have made their way to some 237 locations in more than 40 countries, according to records from a German government foundation tracking them.

The wall’s migration is surprising given the size and heft of its pieces. Most of the barrier was built from segments measuring roughly 12 feet high by 4 feet wide, and weighing 2.6 tons.

The wall was in fact two barricades: an inner wall facing East, and an outer wall facing West. Because the Eastern side was heavily guarded, graffiti was only on the outer segments.

Seeing the wall from both sides in 1984 gave me an appreciation for graffiti I’d never had before.

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